FOM: hostility toward f.o.m.

Neil Tennant neilt at
Thu Jul 23 09:16:06 EDT 1998

Steve and Thomas might agree between themselves to use the word "deconstruct"
with the sense accorded it by Thomas; but they should be aware that as used
by literary critics etc. it does not mean "to prattle endlessly about a
subject of which one is ignorant". Doesn't it mean something more like
"to take the wind out of someone's intellectual sails by revealing the
'sub-text', or the 'hidden agenda', or the peculiar set of biases implicit
in their writings"?  That, at least, is how I get the smell of the term by
being a little downwind from an English department. If this is in gross error,
by all means enlighten me!
Neil Tennant
PS In the sense that I think is correct for the term, fom-ers could set about
*deconstructing* the specious arguments of core mathematicians against the
value of fom as an intellectual enterprise!

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